Projects/KDevelop4/Plugins: Code Generation

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KDevelop Code Generation plugin uses Grantlee template engine to generate code (like classes, functions, code documentation etc.).

The goal of KDevelop's Grantlee implementation is to provide a very flexible template system. The architecture is based on 3 main concepts which results as resources for the plugin:

  • Template
  • Context
  • Generator




The template define the body of the generated code.

Templates syntax is the same as the Grantlee templates syntax. All features provided by its engine are available.


The context handles both the user interface and the data available to the template.

The user interface is what the end-user uses to configure the template. You should use Qt UIs files created with Qt Designer to define your own context.

Code Generation plugin uses form fields to generate data. Typically, binary valued fields (checkboxs) will result as booleans, single valued fields (text fields, text areas, single selection lists, radio buttons) as strings and multi valued fields (multiple selection lists) as lists of strings.

For convenience, all variables defined in a context are included in a namespace. It enables the use of several contexts into a single template without variables names conflict.

Global contexts

Many global contexts are always available in any template. They give data which does not need to be configurable by the end-user.

Currently available global contexts are :



The generator contains the templates and contexts used to generate a coherent object (a class, a function, the documentation for an item in the code etc.).

The generator also define outputs. Each template is associated to one output where generated code will be put.

A generator will result as a new entry in the Code Generation menu.

Files organization

The Code Generation plugin files are located into the KDE user data directory of KDevelop.

Each resource has its own directory :

  • codegeneration/
    • templates/
      • cpp/
      • php/
    • contexts/
      • cpp/
      • php/
    • generators /
      • cpp/
      • php/

Each resource directory can contain directories to organize files in categories (typically, a directory by language).

Then the files can be placed in a category directory or in directly in a resource directory, if the template/context/generator does not concern a specific language.

Configuring templates

For each template, 2 files should be created:

  • the template file itself, with the .tpl extension
  • a .rc configuration file

The file hierarchy may look like this:

  • codegeneration/
    • templates/
      • cpp/
        • class.tpl
        • class.rc
        • function.tpl
        • function.rc
      • php/
    • contexts/
      • cpp/
        • class.ui
      • php/
    • generators/

The template configuration file is handled as a KConfig file :

[Template] contexts=cpp/class includes=cpp/function

Configuring generators

See also

The KDevelop4/Manual/Plugins:_Code_Generation page on Userbase.

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